Oversized Pin Cushion – Sewing Tutorial

Recently I found myself without a decent pin cushion. Yes, over the years I have somehow accumulated several but I never cared for any of them.

The ones I had were either too small or too light, I kept knocking them off the table just when I needed them most or it was impossible to free a single needle with only one hand.  When I ventured to try a wrist pin cushion I found the plastic cuff type painful, and replaced it with an elastic strap. Unfortunately victory was short lived as the most painful part is when I would miss the padded section altogether and jab myself in the back of the hand while my eyes were on my work. Ouch. I finally resorted to using plastic containers because tossing needles back in mid-stitch is easy but I have had to learn to be very careful when extracting a pin.

While I have been setting up my new sewing studio I knew that an adequate pin cushion was requisite, so in between installing shelves I brainstormed my ideal pin cushion.  It had to be:

- large enough to stab a pin at it blindly while sewing
- heavy enough to pull needles out with one hand
- cute enough to warrant valuable space on my new shelves
- made from materials on hand

Not an unreasonable list. The only thing I needed to work out was how large was large enough.  I decided that since my pin container was about 5″ across then a good size for the pin cushion would be about  the same.  It took minimal math after deciding on a 6″ diameter circle (including the 1/2″ seam allowance) all I had to work out was the circumference (fyi circumference = πd) yay math!

I gathered my materials and set about making (and documenting it for you) and I really love how it turned out!


Materials -
Muslin (for interior weighted pouch)
Canvas contrasting color (for bottom)
Canvas fabric
Rocks, Beans, or Rice (for weight)
Polyester Fiber Fill

Seam Allowance = 1/2″

Instructions -
Step 1: Cut 2 6″ circles from Muslin

Step 2: Stitch 3/4 of the way around leaving opening to stuff

Step 3: Fill muslin pouch with weight and work a little fiber fill around to smooth

Step 4: Hand stitch pouch shut and set aside

Step 5: Cut out two – 3 1/2″ by 7″ rectangles of bottom fabric
[using a contrasting color is important as the weight (esp. rocks) will dull needles if you accidentally flipped your pin cushion]

Step 6: Baste rectangles together along long edge, iron seam open and cut out 6″ diameter circle centering the seam

Step 7: Cut out 17″ by 4 1/2″ rectangle and 6″ circle of your pretty canvas fabric for the body

Step 8: Fold Rectangle in half (right sides together of course) and sew along short end, then pin along the circumference of the circles, stitch and clip curves.

Step 9: Open the basted center seam and turn right side out

Step 10: Stuff 85% full with Fiber Fill
[you really want to pack it very full & stiff.  additionally the weighted pouch needs to be very close to the bottom to save the life of your needles from accidentally stabbing the weight]

Step 11: Insert weighted pouch and top with a little bit more fiber fill to smooth and soften

Step 12: Hand stitch shut & enjoy!









































































































































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One Comment

  1. Marcia Furman wrote:

    Oh how cute! I few years ago I made one out of felt…but it’s beat. Time for a little snow day project I think! YAY! Thanks for posting this!